NHL.com will periodically be doing a series called "Five Questions With …," a Q&A with some of the key movers and shakers in the game today aimed to gain some insight into their lives and careers.
Todd McLellan played five NHL games, all with the New York Islanders, in a career shortened by injury. He scored a goal in his debut at New Jersey, dished out an assist in his second game against the New York Rangers, and was part of a victory -- his lone victory -- in his third game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That was it.
McLellan's last NHL game as a player was April 3, 1988 at Boston. He went back to the American Hockey League the following season, suffered recurring shoulder injuries, retired and never played again in North America.
Seventeen years later he returned to the NHL as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. It took him three seasons of running the Red Wings power play to get noticed and hired by San Jose.
After retiring as a player, McLellan went on a coaching odyssey that took him to a foreign country, through the Western Hockey League, into the International Hockey League and eventually the American Hockey League. The path helped shape him into the coach he is today.
How did it happen?